Thursday, 28 November 2013

gallery walls: part V, curator V


So here is the final set of images, all of which were chosen by curator Nóra Barabás; she has decided to split her selections into 2 groups. The first is a diptych with photos by Rebacca Cairns (Canada) and then a triptych featuring Yulia Kazban (Russia) and Susan de Witt (USA).

All the images are untitled.

Rebecca Cairns

 Yulia Kazban & Susan de Witt (centre)

some colours and tones may differ slightly from reality

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

gallery walls: part IV, curator IV

Hi everyone,

here's our next section of the wall with images chosen by guest curator Farhad Bahram, who chose to present photographs by Iranian artist Mahmoodreza Nourbakhsh

(close up of the images above)

some colours may differ from reality

Thursday, 21 November 2013

gallery walls: part III, curator III

Hi everyone,

Here is the third section of the wall featuring images chosen by Zosia Krasnowolska, also of the*kickplate*project and she has chosen photographs by artists Brandon C. Long, Stéphane Vendran and Brian Henry

"the call to adventure"  & "-" Brandon C. Long
"Wild Black Horse" & "Carpathia" Stéphane Vendran
"hold" & "snail castle" Brian Henry 

some colours may differ slightly to reality

Monday, 18 November 2013

gallery walls: part II curator II


On the next part of wall we have photographs chosen by Dafydd Williams, of the the*kickplate*project, and he chose images by the French artist Charles Guerin.

some colours may differ slightly from reality

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Warp + Ffotogallery Forum

We're really excited about participating in artists' Forum organised by Warp (Wales Artists Resource Programme) and Ffotogallery in Chapter, Cardiff on the 28th of November, and about their pop-up photocopy exhibition!

PS Our latest exhibition has been featured in Blur magazine.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

gallery walls: part I, curator I

Hi everyone,

we'd like to share with you some images of the exhibition. We'll be posting images of the photographs as they hang on the walls one curator at a time and then how they are all put together.

We will begin today with Isabelle Thibeault-Jolin, who has chosen images by Toralf Sümmchen and Marianne Priest.

 "LQ" & "Indefinite" by Toralf Sümmchen
"Van Road" & "Dam Beach Path" by Marianne Priest

some colours may differ slightly from reality

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

"as you like it" opening night


We'd like to share some images from last night's opening with you all. Thanks very much to everyone who came and to the artists and curators who helped us put the exhibition together! 

A special thank you to Peter for the carrot cake!

We'll be posting images of the walls soon for those of you too far away to visit in person.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Introducing curators and artists: part V

Evening everyone,

it looks like I'm the last curator left to introduce - my name is Zosia and I am, along with Dafydd Williams, a co-founder of the*kickplate*project. I'd like to present the remaining three participants of "as you like it" - Brian Henry, Stéphane Vendran and Brandon C. Long. 

It so happens that all these photographers work with Polaroid film, often expired, and it is the colours and the magic realism of their work, rendered by the unpredictable and elusive qualities of the film, that prompted me to choose their photos for the exhibition - as one of the main things that I'm drawn to in a photograph are its hues and the story that it lets us build around one image (rather than the photographer's personal story behind the photo). The selection of photographs that I'll be showing have all been shot on SX-70. 

The photos we included in these descriptions are examples of the photographers' work, but not the ones included in the exhibition, as only between one and two photographs per artist will be shown as part of this curator's presentation and we don't want to give too much away before the opening.

Stéphane Vendran

Stéphane Vendran is a French photographer and graphic designer living and working in Montélimar. He uses a variety of medium-format cameras, including Holga, Diana, Hasselblad and Speed Graphic, and techniques, including ambrotype, but works prevalently with Polaroid. 

Many of Stéphane's photos are travel photographs and as part of the exhibition I'll be showing photographs from his series "Complètement à l'Est", shot during his 3 weeks and 6500 km-long journey from France through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and  Hungary to Romania and back to France through Czech Republic, Austria and Germany  "whose only goal was to bathe in the Black Sea and come back". The photographs were recently shown as a diaporama in a cinema in Stéphane's home town. Stéphane also published another series of road photographs, "Sur la route... Quelque part", documenting his impressions of forgotten places off the beaten track. 

You can find Stéphane's photos in his portofolio and on Flickr.

Brian Henry 

Brian Henry is an American photographer based in Baltimore. He works with a variety of techniques and cameras and the majority of work are Polaroids, often shot on expired film. During his numerous travels, Brian photographed and explored many abandoned places in the USA and Europe, deserted both for economic and historic reasons - old factories, hotels, psychiatric hospitals and Chernobyl, drawing a pararell between his subjects and the techniques he uses.

My current portfolio reveals lost places, neglected buildings, decay, with occasional concepts conceived through dreams and strange films from the 70s. Most of my photographs are taken with vintage cameras, using Polaroid film. I am very experimental with my work and often find myself doing it "wrong" or just whatever feels right. My photos are sometimes manipulated or abused, or left in abandoned buildings to decay.

He currently runs an oddities shop in Baltimore. You can find Brian's photographs in his portofolio and on Flickr.

Brandon C. Long

Brandon C. Long is an American photographer and blogger based in San Francisco, specialising in Polaroid photography. He often uses expired film, which gives his photographs beautiful colours and a surreal atmosphere. A lot if his photos are conceptual, with recurrent motifs and characters that tell Brandon's stories. Apart from being a photographer, Brandon also runs a website, The Only Magic Left is Art, where he regularly features the work of other artists and promotes equal exposure of artists irrespective of their background. As he says:

There is an invisible revolution going on right now and the old ways are being uprooted by a new generation of artists through social media. 10 years ago, it was practically impossible to get exposure to a vast international audience without being sponsored by a high profile company.

Never before have we lived in a time where artists have an even playing field against the more privileged. Talent is finally becoming the backbone of success rather than nepotism. Money is irrelevant. Vision now has the power to go viral.

We are entering an era of "artistic equality" (...). 

You can find Brandon'd photos on his website and Flickr page.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

images from the install of "as you like it"

Evening everyone,

we'd like to share some images from the installation of the new exhibition - opening on Tuesday at 16:00.

the*kickplate*gallery is (almost) ready now and so are we! 


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Introducing curators and artists: part IV

Today we'd like to introduce our third and final guest curator, Nóra Barabás. She is a young artists currently living and studying in Hunagry and she has chosen photographs by Susan de Witt, Yulia Kazban and Rebecca Cairns.

The photos we included in these descriptions are examples of the photographers' work, but not the ones included in the exhibition, as only between one and two photographs per artist will be shown as part of this curator's presentation and we don't want to give too much away before the opening.

Nóra Barabás

Some of you may already be aware of Nóra's photographs as this will be the third time that she has collaborated with us in some way on the project; this time we have decided to give Nóra the opportunity to make her own selection. Nóra's photographs often depict how different emotional states affect our perception of the world, and how the external realities impact our feelings. Her images are contemplative and thoughtful, two qualities that extend into the works she selects as part of her online journals, where she pairs images, music and quotes in her "virtual" gallery.

You can see Nóra's photographs on her page where she also "curates" the work of others.

What do you look for in photographs?

I constantly look for inspirational pieces from other artists - pieces that speak to me, pieces I can relate to in some way or other. In photography and art in general I always look for that feeling and emotion that speak to me.

Why did you choose these specific artists?

The photographs I chose contain that certain emotion, depth, atmosphere that I aim to find, I feel there is a soul within. (Not to mention that I love the process/result - lith printing - Susan and Yulia work with.) 

There is actually a quote too that I just remembered, that answers why I selected these photographers and what their pieces mean to me after all: 

"What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.", from John Updike.

Susan de Witt

Susan de Witt is a photographer and lith print maker living in Portland, Oregon. Her work is best described by Tim Rudman, whom she has studied with over the years and whom she describes in turn as a leading authority on lith printing. "Susan de Witt uses photography, not as many do to record and reproduce what the camera sees, but to produce very personal images from her imagination. Her photographic prints may be built up from more than one view of the same object or by combining different subject matter to produce a final result that is greater than its constituent parts.

The surreal overtones in her images play both to the subconscious and to the imagination, telling us not what to see but inviting us to see in them what we find.
Her choice of the lith printing process to produce her multiple images presents her both with real technical challenges due to the nature of the process and significant aesthetic advantages as the distinctive visual properties of the lith prints produced in this way further removes her imagery from the realism of conventional photographic reproduction."

You can see Susan's images on her page.

Rebecca Cairns

Rebecca Cairns is a photographer based in Canada and working with traditional photography techniques - she works almost exclusively with black and white film. Even though Rebecca often models for her own images, she is rarely the subject. Using a variety of styles and techniques she is trying to capture something other than the image of a person.

Empty spaces and decaying rooms give a sense of loneliness and abandonment, coupled with the effects of movement and long and multiple exposures, her images are more the representation of dreams or the fleeting moments of emotions that make up our days as we pass through our lives and it's these that she is trying to capture on film and in stills. 

“My body of work attempts to explore dissociative states or ‘grey zones’ in our realities—a place between dreaming and waking life. It also explores how bodies interact with the environments that surround them.  

These are a collection of days, hours and minutes over the span of two years. I generally use photography as some kind of journal. I attempt to recreate dreams and visions, and to create something tangible that I am able to connect to in the most honest of ways.” 
Rebecca Cairns, VespeMagazine, 2013

You can see more of her photographs on her page and blog.

Yulia Kazban 

Yulia Kazban is a Ukrainian born photographer currently living and working in Moscow, Russia.Yulia usually works with film photography and prints her own images using a variety of traditional techniques.
As a visual artist, Yulia is reluctant to describe the process of her work or what meaning or context they may have to her, preferring to let the images speak to the viewer themselves:

It can influence the viewer or not. The viewer can feel the author's intention or not, can find something for himself or not, feel changes inside or not.
Often any description is superfluous.  I don't like to use words  for telling to the viewer  about specific context and hold him in the framework. I don't like to pull the work into an invented result.  If I want to create borders for viewer, I have to create those borders through my work, without instructions and descriptions.

We at the*kickplate*project agree with this sentiment and will therefore let Yulia's photography speak for itself.  You can find her images on her page and flickr.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Introducing curators and artists: part III

Today we'd like to present our second guest curator, a Canadian artist Isabelle Thibeault-Jolin, and the artists that she chose for the exhibition, Marianne Priest and Toralf Sümmchen.  

The photos we included in these descriptions are examples of the photographers' work, but not the ones included in the exhibition, as only two photographs per artist will be shown as part of this curator's presentation and we don't want to give too much away before the opening.

Isabelle Thibeault-Jolin 

is a photographer, painter and collagist living in Montréal, Canada. She takes both analogue and digital photographs, sometimes linking both in photographic collages. Isabelle uses photography as a way of documenting how the world around her affects her thoughts and moulds her experience: As for what I'm trying to show in my photography, well, I'm trying to show to myself how I experience the world and myself. It's like wearing glasses; it helps me to see better. Isabelle runs regular features in journals on her page, presenting works by artists she find interesting.
You can find Isabelle's work on her page and her blog A Thousand Ways to Tell a Tale.
 What do you look for in photographs?
There are different types of photography that I enjoy. I suppose what I enjoy most is when I feel there is a whole universe behind the image - the universe of the artist - and the image drags me and makes me want to look longer, to get a better impression of that universe. Sometimes this doesn't happen right away, you must take your time.

 Why did you choose these specific artists?

This has to do with my answer to the first question. I've been following Marianne and Toralf's works for a couple of years, now. I feel in tune with their universe. There is a sensibility about their work that touches me. Also, they both experiment with analog photography and make their own prints, which is something I am interested in. 

Marianne Priest 

Marianne Priest is a self-taught photographer living in northern lower Michigan. She got her first camera in the late 90s and over the years has learned from reading, trial and error (...). (Marianne defines her current style as) reminscent of pictorialism,  prevalent in the late 1800s into the early 1900s.  It is a style that suits Marianne's desire for an intimate connection between the image and the viewer. In the rather impressionistic looking images she creates, the viewer is allowed to put their own ideas and dreams into the photograph and get from them what they feel as opposed to what she might have been feeling.  

(...) For the past 5 years she has been learning and experimenting strictly with the Lith process of printing. (...)

She chooses to print her images rather small, most of them on 8x10 paper with the image itself being smaller than the paper size. In printing them smaller, she hopes the viewer will  have to come up closer to the image and in doing so, become more intimately involved with each photograph.  

You can find Marianne's photos and more textual information about her work in her portfolio, where the above text has been extracted from, and on her page.

Toralf Sümmchen

Toralf Sümmchen is a Brooklyn-based artist working primarily with wet collodion and in a variety of styles. He describes this process and reasons for using these techniques below:

I've been practicing the wet plate collodion since summer 2012 after attending a workshop by Brooklyn-based artist Robyn Renee Hasty. In spring 2013 I attended another workshop at the Center for Alternative Photography in Manhattan held by Savannah, GA based artist Ellen Susan. The interest to work in this process was mainly triggered by the magical work of Sally Mann. 

I started working in analogue media a few years ago when I felt more and more alienated by the computer work I did (and do) in my day job and started again to draw and paint and do mixed media work and later went back to film photography. After working with instant peel-apart film, which can show interesting artifacts in the negatives depending on the treatment before and after the exposure, I followed the recommendation of my partner Lily Qian to learn the wet plate collodion process.

The sometimes hard to control, slow and craft-oriented process, the moment of chance and the pleasure of reading old manuals from the beginning of photography and working with old equipment and actual chemistry, these are just a few of many reasons why I enjoy using this old technique. 

You can find Toralf's work on his page and on Facebook.

Introducing curators and artists: part II

Hello everyone,

today we're presenting one of our three guest curators, Farhad Bahram and the artist that he chose to feature, Mahmoodreza Nourbakhsh. We asked our curators to answer two questions for us - you can find the answers below. 

Farhad Bahram  

Born in Tehran and as a citizen of the Middle East, I have been able to observe the effects of governmental mistrust of traditions, which in Iran results in the attempt to control every aspect of communication. Having grown up under such stringent regulatory control, I developed a profound desire to examine different ways in which I could deconstruct what I refer to as the despotism of communication.

In my recent practices I focus on proliferation of both participatory and process-based works that engage with the idea of social relations outside of the conventional art spaces and through different modes of communication such as intervention and collaboration.

Farhad studies for an MFA in photography at San Francisco Art Institute. He is a graduate teaching fellow in the Department of Art at the University of Oregon and has been awarded Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff) for International Research. 

You can find out more about Farhad and his work on his website

What do you look for in photographs?

In ‘Camera Lucida’ by Roland Barthes, he wrote about this dialogue between Kafka and Janouch: 
“'The necessary condition for an image is sight,' Janouch told Kafka; and Kafka smiled and replied: 'We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.’”  
I think a sight in your mind is part of your memory. It has a symbolic value which belongs to the past. But the moment you press the shutter on your camera you are actually removing that passive sight from your memory and bringing it to the present, a permanent active present. I actually believe that photography is an interaction with your past. It is a reviving attempt for bringing a relieved dead memory back to the catastrophe of the present! And that's what I am looking for in a photo. A revived memory!

Why did you choose these specific photographs and this artist?

Mahmoodreza is a very talented photographer and right after seeing some shots from your space at the Kickplate I thought his minimal photos would be a good fit in that space. There is always a sense of humor in his visual narration that I like so much. He knows the light and composition very well which makes him a good story teller with camera!

Mahmoodreza Nourbakhsh

Mahmoodreza Nourbakhsh is a frelance photographer living and working in Iran. 

I was born in 1980 in Urmia, Iran. I graduated from University of Kashan with master's degree in Mechanical Engineering and started photography as a freelance photographer in 2000, working as photographer in industrial publications, and also working in artistic cultural magazines as a writer and art secretary. At the same time I began to study courses in Art History and Artistic photography with some well-known artists like Aydin Aghadashlo, Bahman Jalali, Nasrolah Kasraeyan and Farshid Azarang. Alongside my practices, I had some individual and group photo exhibitions, art projects and also have published 2 books up to now.

You can find Mahmoodreza's photos on his portoflio page.